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Author Topic: Vestiges of Male Moon and Female Sun in Hellenismos?  (Read 1930 times)

Pteranotropi

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Vestiges of Male Moon and Female Sun in Hellenismos?
« on: November 30, 2014, 01:31:27 pm »
So, I've been reading a bit in PIE religion, and it turns out Menelaus is derived from the same root as several lunar deities like Máni and Meness (as well as Moon itself, of course), and Helen may be a vestigial remnant of a solar goddess.


Then there's Hermes' own lunar traits (association with the sign of Cancer, syncretism with Thoth), and Athena's supposed solar ones (via Medusa).


What do you think?

carillion

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Re: Vestiges of Male Moon and Female Sun in Hellenismos?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 03:22:34 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;166496
So, I've been reading a bit in PIE religion, and it turns out Menelaus is derived from the same root as several lunar deities like Máni and Meness (as well as Moon itself, of course), and Helen may be a vestigial remnant of a solar goddess.


Then there's Hermes' own lunar traits (association with the sign of Cancer, syncretism with Thoth), and Athena's supposed solar ones (via Medusa).


What do you think?


I am wary of assigning significance on the basis of the etymology of names especially after long periods of time have passed. If a name were novel in the culture of the day I might pay more attention to it. But if a name was a favoured one in the population than any 'meaning' it may have beyond that is unclear. The name 'Helen' might have been quite popular and was given to the name of a mythological character because an author liked it or it was his mother's name. Translations can also be suspect. Usage changes. For example the name 'Theodore' (translated as 'gift of god') tends to be reflexively thought of as a Christian name.However, it was a common name in ancient Greece and predated Christianity .So what would be the translation if one wasn't referencing one diety or if that one deity was not the Christian god? And it has many varients that resolve back to the original meaning but look different.

So I tend to look at actions and behavior which could indicate connection(s).

arete

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Re: Vestiges of Male Moon and Female Sun in Hellenismos?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 01:00:24 pm »
So, I've been reading a bit in PIE religion, and it turns out Menelaus is derived from the same root as several lunar deities like Máni and Meness (as well as Moon itself, of course), and Helen may be a vestigial remnant of a solar goddess.
In greek paganism, the god sun is male, and the goddess moon is female. Menelaus is associated with the Goddess Moon (Selene), and Helen with the God Sun. Their names say so. :) Why? Because the sun and moon can be seen as either male or female. Also, the male needs the female, and the female needs the male. (I hope it makes sense ???) There are pagan religions where the Goddess Sun is female, and the God Moon is male.


Quote
Then there's Hermes' own lunar traits (association with the sign of Cancer, syncretism with Thoth), and Athena's supposed solar ones (via Medusa).


What do you think?
Artemis is the sign Cancer. She is associated with the moon and she is the twin of Apollo (Sun).
Hermes cancer? I don't know.

Athena is aries. it would be nice to see the connection with medusa as solar entity. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Eastling

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Re: Vestiges of Male Moon and Female Sun in Hellenismos?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 02:49:24 pm »
So, I've been reading a bit in PIE religion, and it turns out Menelaus is derived from the same root as several lunar deities like Máni and Meness (as well as Moon itself, of course), and Helen may be a vestigial remnant of a solar goddess.


Then there's Hermes' own lunar traits (association with the sign of Cancer, syncretism with Thoth), and Athena's supposed solar ones (via Medusa).


What do you think?

I've heard these theories and I'm cautious. The female moon/male sun mythemes are pretty solidly ingrained in Hellenismos by the time we have any information on it: not only do we have Selene and Helios (identified with Artemis and Apollo respectively, at that), we also have associations between Hekate and the moon, and possibly Dionysos and the sun (as the "midnight sun," the aspect of the sun that travels through the underworld at night).

I'm also not sure it'd be PIE I'd look to for these remnants, either, given that we find solar goddesses and lunar gods in some of the non-PIE sources of Hellenismos, such as Kemeticism. Menelaus and Helen linguistically probably have connections to the relics you're looking for, but as was said above, that doesn't necessarily mean much.

I've never heard of Hermes having lunar attributes, aside from his identification with Thoth (which seems to be made on the basis of other traits anyway, such as their shared connection with magic and language).

That said, Nanno Marinatos makes the argument that the Minoans worshipped a solar goddess based primarily on their propensity for spirals and swastika-like imagery, almost always solar symbols when they appear in ancient Europe. Given their cultural nearness to Kemetic Egypt, this seems like a reasonable conclusion, though there's a lot of stuff Marinatos conjectures that I don't agree with. Personally I think that when the Minoan culture filtered through the centuries to Hellenic Greece, their solar goddess was assimilated in different parts to Rhea, Hera, and Demeter. (Hera certainly shows traces of being a sky goddess.)
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

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